Trial Review: Chantal Robson Shatters Pros. Proclamations MB#297
JANUARY 13 2006 – MJEOL is continuing its detailed look back at the 2005 Michael Jackson trial. Wade Robsons sister, Chantal, testified during the trial as well. If you remember, both her mother and brother testified to Jacksons innocence and offered a better context of just what their friendship with Jackson is all about.
Chantal Robson was a highly interesting witness because she was the personification of the contradiction between the truth, and what prosecutors/media tried to sell the public. Remember all of that nonsense about Jackson only allowing young boys to sleep in his bed? Remember all of the ridiculous talk even from some who supported the defense about Jacksons alleged interest in young boys?
Well Chantal Robson was the beginning of the end of the media-created public perception that there was essentially no girls allowed in his bedroom or his bed. Her younger brother was dragged into this trial because prosecutors both told the court and called witnesses to suggest that Wade Robson was molested by Jackson. He totally knocked down those false allegations from the prosecutions 3rd party crooks (also known as 1108 witnesses).
Unlike what prosecution witnesses claimed, he said Jackson never asked inappropriately with him in any way and that he never saw Jackson behave inappropriately with any other kid either. The family has known Jackson almost 20 years.
Chantal Robsons mother, Joy, provided a lot of detail which was sorely lacking in media reports and false prosecution assumptions; adding that most of the familys time at Neverland was spent without Jackson being there. Joy Robson also testified that she and Jackson had very long daily conversations about life and family over the phone for 2 years before the family even moved to the U.S. in the early 90s.
Joy Robson also gave jurors an insight into June Chandler, whom she described as acting like a gold-digger. Before the defenses case, there was all this ridiculousness about Neverland being a boys paradise and about Jacksons bedroom being a boys only zone. But since when can we rely on the media to get it right when it comes to Michael Jackson?
They’re still running around, like chickens with their heads cut-off, after every unsubstantiated report about his finances! And please dont let someone file a lawsuit against him! The public just HAS TO know that! Seemingly, regardless of the absurdity of the claim. But Tom Sneddon being sued for $10 million — and his office being tried civilly in August 2006 for corrupt actions — gets little media coverage.
Like her family, Chantal Robson talked about the first time they visited Neverland for the weekend. She confirmed that all of her family grandparents included visited the ranch. She also confirmed that she, too, stayed in Jacksons personal living quarters (bedroom) for that weekend. From her testimony:
MESEREAU: Okay. And do you remember where you stayed at Neverland?
CHANTAL ROBSON: I stayed in Michaels room.
MESEREAU: Okay. And was anyone else in there with you?
CHANTAL ROBSON: Wade was and Michael was.
MESEREAU: And how many nights did you and Wade stay in Michael Jacksons room on that occasion?
CHANTAL ROBSON: Two nights. (p 9308 lines 16-24)
Just with those answers, she started to demolish 12 years worth of assumptions about Jacksons Neverland Ranch by confirming that dare I say it little girls TOO stayed in Jacksons bed. I remember the annoying Kimberly Guilfoyle-Newsome on Court TV asking a question about why she never heard anything about there being any girls at Neverland. The short answer to that question, as the public now knows, is by emphasizing the fact that girls have slept in his bed, it kills the obsessed with young boys headline. Actually, most of the readily accepted pre-trial Jackson information turned out to be wrong. __Nothing improper happened__ During defense questioning, Chantal Robson testified she never saw anything improper happen in Jacksons bedroom, and that she has slept in his bedroom four times. From her testimony:
CHANTAL ROBSON: We just hung out. Watched cartoons. Watched videos. Played games. You know, what normal kids do. Hang out and have fun.
MESEREAU: Did you fall asleep on his bed?
CHANTAL ROBSON: Yes, we did.
MESEREAU: How many times do you think youve been in Michael Jacksons room?
CHANTAL ROBSON: Ive probably been there a lot of times, just sort of in and out. Ive slept there four times. (p 9309 lines 3-12)
The fact that she slept there more than once was also new information because during her testimony, some pundits covering the trial tried to downplay the amount of time she was around Jackson and her brother. Mesereau asked Chantal Robson more questions about the subject, and got very specific about what she saw (or didnt see):
MESEREAU: And any of those occasions, have you ever seen anything improper go on?
CHANTAL ROBSON: Not at all.
MESEREAU: Ever seen Mr. Jackson molest your brother Wade?
CHANTAL ROBSON: Not at all.
MESEREAU: Ever seen Mr. Jackson touch your brother Wade in an improper way?
CHANTAL ROBSON: No.
MESEREAU: Ever seen Mr. Jackson abuse your brother Wade?
CHANTAL ROBSON: No. (p 9309 lines 16-27)
She said her parents and grandparents knew that she and Wade were sleeping in Jacksons personal living quarters back then, and neither adult had a problem with it. Mesereau then asked her to describe Jacksons bedroom for the jury. More from the testimony:
CHANTAL ROBSON: It’s beautiful. It’s two floors. There’s another bedroom upstairs. His bed is downstairs. Theres two closets. Oh, sorry. Sorry, there’s a closet on the right side and a shower on the left side.
MESEREAU: How many times do you think you’ve been in that room? Can you guess? Not guess, excuse me. Can you estimate?
CHANTAL ROBSON: Five to ten times. (p 9312 lines 10-19)
Of the few times when both her family and Jackson were at Neverland at the same time, she never felt like she was kept out of Jacksons personal living quarters, according to her testimony (p 9312 lines 20-23). She testified she had been in Jacksons bedroom all times of the day and night. She also testified that Jackson never put any restrictions on when she could or couldnt come into his bedroom. Like her mother, she testified that she has used Jacksons Jacuzzi. According to her testimony, she had been in that Jacuzzi with Jackson and never saw anything improper with that. Mesereau then asked Chantal Robson if she had ever seen Jackson hug Wade and was suspicious about the way he hugged her brother. More from her testimony:
MESEREAU: Has Mr. Jackson ever kissed you? CHANTAL ROBSON: Yes, he has.MESEREAU: Have you kissed him?CHANTAL ROBSON: Yes, I have.MESEREAU: Ever been suspicious of the way Mr. Jackson kissed you?CHANTAL ROBSON: No.MESEREAU: Ever seen Mr. Jackson hug Wade?CHANTAL ROBSON: Yes.MESEREAU: Ever been suspicious of the way Mr. Jackson hugged Wade?CHANTAL ROBSON: No.MESEREAU: Have you ever seen Wade kiss him?CHANTAL ROBSON: Yes. MESEREAU: Ever been suspicious of any of this kissing?CHANTAL ROBSON: No.MESEREAU: Ever thought any of it was sexual in nature?CHANTAL ROBSON: No, it was just a friendly kiss on the cheek. (p 9310 lines 10-21; p 9311 lines 1-7)
Prosecution Auchincloss handled her cross-examination (cross). Chantal Robson was about 10 the first time she met Jackson. Auchincloss tried to get Chantal Robson to talk about the special bond her brother had with Jackson. However, Chantal Robson described the friendship between Jackson and her brother as like any other friend (p 9317 line 28).
When she slept in the same bed as Jackson at age 10, it wasn’t the first time she slept in the same bed with an adult, she said. From her testimony:
AUCHINCLOSS: Was that the first time youd ever done anything like that?CHANTAL ROBSON: Done anything like what?AUCHINCLOSS: As a young girl, sleeping with a grown man whos unrelated to you, that you just met.CHANTAL ROBSON: That was the first time Id ever done that. Its not the first time Ive ever slept with somebody over 35. (p 9321 lines 4-11)
She testified she slept in the bed with her father as well. Auchincloss kept trying to get her to say it was inappropriate for an adult to sleep in the same bed with a kid. Never mind the fact that it isnt illegal for a child to sleep in the same bed as an adult, or the fact that Jackson wasn’t on trial for the appropriateness of such an allowance.
Chantal Robson said that the appropriateness of allowing a kid to sleep in bed with someone is based on trust. To which, Auchincloss asked, ”Do you think that type of trust can be earned in one day?” (p 9322 lines 27-28).
This is not the evidence which came out in court. The mother testified that for two years, she had very long phone conversations daily before the family moved to the U.S. So they didnt just decide to give Jackson their trust in one day at Neverland as the prosecution alleged.
Further questioning by Auchincloss only allowed Chantal Robson to corroborate her mothers testimony, which probably wouldnt have happened had the prosecutor not took her down that road. Check out this exchange:
AUCHINCLOSS: Well, you felt very comfortable, true, the very first day?CHANTAL ROBSON: Well, I was his friend.AUCHINCLOSS: And your mother felt very comfortable the very first day, true?CHANTAL ROBSON: My mother had already met him two years prior.AUCHINCLOSS: But she just met him as an acquaintance. You know that, right?
CHANTAL ROBSON: They spent a lot of time together before that, though.AUCHINCLOSS: They had spent what?CHANTAL ROBSON: They spent time together before that.AUCHINCLOSS: On how many occasions?CHANTAL ROBSON: Just the once when they were in Australia. But she actually spent hours and had conversation and got to know Michael, so she had a relationship prior. (p 9323 lines 12-28; p 9324 line 1)
She wasnt letting Auchincloss get away with anything either. Auchincloss questioned her about how Jackson allowed her family to have the run of his ranch and how he picks up the tab for it. Chantal Robson tried to explain to him that going to Jacksons home to her is like going to any other friends home.
Auchincloss replied to her, ”Neverland is not like any other friends house, is it?” To which, Chantal Robson told him, “No, but I have a lot of friends that have beautiful homes. And when I go there, they allow me to eat for free” (p 9325 lines 3-5).
Some observers admitted at the time they chuckled when she said that. Auchincloss would continue to get shot down by her testimony. The prosecutor then appeared to be testifying through the guise of asking her questions about what child molestation victims would feel and whether their families would feel guilty.
Under redirect, Mesereau asked Chantal a question which appeared to be a direct dig at both the Chandlers and the Arvizos. He asked, ”Miss Robson, if you thought your brother had been molested by Michael Jackson, would you go to a lawyer first to seek money?”
The prosecutors, of course, objected and it was sustained by the judge. Mesereau also asked her additional questions about the prosecutions cross-examination. And, like so many other times, it was the prosecutors questions which opened the door for the defense to allow the witness to reassert Jacksons innocence. More from her testimony:
MESEREAU: The prosecutor asked you questions about victims of child molestation, okay? Did you ever think your brother was the victim of a child molestation?CHANTAL ROBSON: I did not.MESEREAU: Why not?CHANTAL ROBSON: Because he would have told me.MESEREAU: Did he ever tell you that he had been improperly touched?CHANTAL ROBSON: No, he did not.MESEREAU: Did your brother ever tell you that he had been molested?CHANTAL ROBSON: No.MESEREAU: Isn’t it true you dont think for one second that Mr. Jackson ever abused your brother?CHANTAL ROBSON: That is true.MESEREAU: You dont think for one second that Mr. Jackson ever molested your brother, do you?CHANTAL ROBSON: That is true.MESEREAU: You dont think for one second Mr. Jackson ever touched your brother in a sexual way, right?AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; leading.THE COURT: Overruled. You may answer.CHANTAL ROBSON: I do not think for one second. (p 9333 15-27; p 9334 lines 4-16)
This, too, had to be painful for the prosecution to sit through. She continued:
MESEREAU: Prosecutor Auchincloss asked you questions about a family feeling guilty for allowing molestation to occur. Do you feel guilty about anything involving your relationship with Michael Jackson?CHANTAL ROBSON: I do not.MESEREAU: Why not?CHANTAL ROBSON: I have no reason to feel guilty. Its a normal friendship.(p 9334 lines 22-28; p 9335 lines 1-2)
He went on to ask her additional questions about the friendship between her brother and Jackson. Asked to go into further detail about why Wade Robson thought his friendship with Jackson was important, she also commented on the special bond that she has with Jackson. From the transcript:
MESEREAU: Do you think you have a special bond with Michael Jackson?CHANTAL ROBSON: I do.MESEREAU: Why?CHANTAL ROBSON: Because he is my friend and I love him.MESEREAU: Do you think Mr. Jackson has a special bond with your mom?CHANTAL ROBSON: I do.MESEREAU: Why do you think that?CHANTAL ROBSON: Same reason. Were friends, and were there for each other. (p 9331 lines 11-21)
This doesn’t fit the picture prosecutors wanted to sell the jury. Auchincloss himself tried to paint the picture of all families he befriends have boys in them. Ooo sinister! Besides, its not true. Mesereau also gave Chantal the opportunity to assert in front of the jury that she trusts Jackson; an opportunity she may not have had if prosecutors hadn’t insisted on cross-examining her. She told jurors that she feels comfortable with the fact that Jackson has allowed children to sleep in his room because she trusts him. She testified, ”Because its a feeling that I have. Hes a friend, and hes never, ever made me feel like I shouldnt trust him,” (p 9332 lines 4-6).
__That dont impress me much__
Under prosecution questioning, she testified that she wasnt really impressed when she first met Jackson because she was young. From the transcript:
AUCHINCLOSS: Were you impressed with meeting Mr. Jackson the first time you met him?CHANTAL ROBSON: Not really impressed. I was young, so the idea of the fact that he was being famous really didnt mean anything.AUCHINCLOSS: Okay. It didnt strike you as anything remarkable to meet a superstar at that time when you were ten years old?CHANTAL ROBSON: No. (p 9316 lines 3-11)
This is probably why Jackson likes to spend time around children. I remember during Mac Culkins Larry King Live interview, he confirmed that Jackson liked to be around children because they treated him like a regular person.
Again under prosecution questioning, Auchincloss asked Chantal Robson during cross-examination if she knew anything about the Apple-Head Club or the Doo-Doo Head Club. Of course, prosecutors applied a sinister meaning to this. She said she heard those words without the word club added to it.
The prosecution questioning allowed Mesereau to then ask her about it on redirect. Contradicting to the nefarious spin prosecutors put on those words, Chantal Robson said that Jackson has called both she and her brother Apple-head and Doo doo head Oops.
If you remember, these were supposed to be words applied to boys only according to pro-prosecution pundits. From her testimony:
MESEREAU: Now, the prosecutor asked you questions about the words Apple Head and Doo-Doo Head, right?CHANTAL ROBSON: Yes.MESEREAU: Have you heard those words before?CHANTAL ROBSON: Yes, I have.MESEREAU: Lets start with Apple Head. Where have you heard the word Apple Head?CHANTAL ROBSON: Michael has called me and my brother Apple Head.MESEREAU: Where have you heard the word Doo-Doo Head?CHANTAL ROBSON: Michael has called me or my brother Doo-Doo Head.MESEREAU: When Michael Jackson called you Apple Head, did you ever get suspicious that some crime was occurring?CHANTAL ROBSON: No.MESEREAU: When Michael Jackson called you Doo-Doo Head, were you ever suspicious that there was some sexual reason for that?CHANTAL ROBSON: No.MESEREAU: When Michael Jackson called your brother Apple Head, did you ever suspect some abusive type of thing was going on?CHANTAL ROBSON: No.MESEREAU: When Mr. Jackson called your brother Doo-Doo Head, did you ever suspect something nefarious was happening?CHANTAL ROBSON: No. (p 9332 lines 7-28; p 9333 lines 1-4, 11-14)
__Prosecution 4 Dummies Rule #256: Never ask a question the defense attorney could later use against you __
She testified that she has discussed the prosecutions allegations with her brother a couple of times. She said her brother was upset with the prosecutions accusations because they weren’t true (p 9335 lines 15-22).
She also said she was upset at the allegations as well ”because they’re not true. And a friend of mine is being accused of something thats not true” (p 9336 lines 1-2).
Mesereau continued to use Auchinclosss cross-examination point to make points of his own. Chantal Robson told the jury that she never talked her or her brother into his room. Specifically from the testimony:
MESEREAU: Have you ever felt guilty about having a friendship with Michael Jackson?CHANTAL ROBSON: I have not.MESEREAU: Do you feel guilty about ever staying in Michaels room?CHANTAL ROBSON: I dont.MESEREAU: Do you feel guilty about ever visiting Michaels room?CHANTAL ROBSON: I do not.MESEREAU: Did you ever get the feeling Michael Jackson was trying to talk you into being in his room?CHANTAL ROBSON: Never.MESEREAU: Did you ever get the feeling Michael Jackson was trying to talk your brother into being in his room?CHANTAL ROBSON: Never. (p 9336 lines 3-5, 9-14, 18-25)
Chantal Robson went on to say that she thinks Jackson is honest, sensitive and trustworthy. But not before Auchincloss re-crossed her, and asked her questions about his perception of the trial.
For example he asked her, Would you trust him not to have adult erotic material sitting around his room when he had children in his room (p 9337 lines 23-25)?
In response, Chantal Robson made one of the most sensible comments I have heard someone say about the issue of adult material being found in Jacksons room. From her testimony:
AUCHINCLOSS: Well, would you like him — would you trust him enough to think that hed keep those materials separate from children?CHANTAL ROBSON: It would be nice. But I also understand its somebodys house and sometimes things are lying around.(p 9337 lines 27-28; p 9338 lines 1-4)
Whats that? Could that be the voice of reason speaking? Gasp! Apparently the prosecution didn’t hear that voice enough times (or any time) during the trial.
Under additional defense questioning, Mesereau asked Chantal Robson an opened ended question about trust, since the prosecutor made it an issue. He wanted her to tell the jury every reason why she does trust Jackson.
She told them, ”He has cared for me like an older brother and a father. There has never been one time in my life where he has ever turned his back on my family. Vice Versa. My family has never turned our backs on him. We love him”, she continued (p 9342 lines 8-13, 21-22).
Ouch. This is not exactly the impression of Jackson prosecutors wanted to leave with the jury. Chantal Robsons testimony, like her younger brothers testimony, was damaging to the prosecution.
After prosecutors told the jury all of the nonsense about Neverland being a disturbing boys club, on the stand was one of the girls who also slept in Jacksons bed; testifying that she saw nothing nefarious happen between Jackson and her brother.
Like her bother, Brett Barnes and Mac Culkin, Chantal Robson was a walking slap in the face to previous media assumptions and unfounded prosecution theories.